Illinois gears up for 200th birthday party Monday


The Illinois State Capitol Building in Springfield.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois turns 200 Monday. And Navy Pier in Chicago is the site of the Illinois Bicentennial gala that will be alternatively solemn and raucous.

The eventual home state of Abraham Lincoln became the Union’s 21st state on Dec. 3, 1818.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants all Illinois residents “to be proud in celebrating our incredible history.”

It will feature home-grown blues from Buddy Guy, rock `n’ roll from REO Speedwagon and Styx, and a rap version of the Gettysburg Address by “Hamilton” star Miguel Cervantes.

There will be a salute to military veterans led by actor Joe Mantegna (mahn-TEHN’-yah) and Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee will honor championships won by the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Cubs, White Sox and the wartime Rockford Peaches women’s baseball team.

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